Board to Hear Presentation on Preschool Programs

Preschool
Preschool

By Nicholas von Wettberg

Picking up where they left off in June, the Davis School Board will hear a district-led presentation on ways to close the achievement/opportunity gap.

Up for discussion, and possible action, at the upcoming meeting on Thursday is the topic of preschool – the impact it has on the achievement/opportunity gap, what the Davis climate is like, and some of the district’s ideas on current and future programs.

According to the Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD)-provided syllabus, recommendations are in store.

And, in accordance with the state funding mechanisms, the district is meeting goals, in both its Strategic Plan and Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).

These are the alignments of Strategy 1 and LCAP Goal 1, which are to “develop, implement, and assess a Professional Growth System consistent with our mission and objectives, focusing first on social-emotional intelligence, differentiated instruction and inquiry-based learning.”

The other pair of goals met, through the action, is Strategy 3 and LCAP Goal 3, that “will develop and implement a district-wide assessment system aligned with the Common Core Standards to effectively analyze student performance data at more frequent intervals in order to improve instruction, close the achievement gap, and ensure that all students meet or exceed district standards.”

In the report, district staff will reemphasize the point that preschool programs are capable of providing students with lasting benefits, such as “school readiness” and “improved cognitive and social abilities,” and are especially effective for kids placed in the low-income category.

It is in the preschool setting, according to the report (referencing information provided by the Center for National Progress and National Institute for Early Childhood Education), where proper instruction relies upon “supportive interaction” between teacher and student, with a focus on the implementation of the curriculum, and, all the while, receiving support “through coaching and mentoring.”

Using national achievement gap data, the report shows that, by the time African American, Hispanic and low-income kids enter kindergarten, they sit significantly behind the eight ball when it comes to math and reading skill levels, compared with whites and higher income peers.

For African Americans, the gap was 8.9 months for math and 6.7 months in reading, and, for Hispanics, the gap was wider: 10.8 months in math and 11.5 months behind in reading.

Children on the low end of the income scale suffer most when it comes to school preparedness.

According to the data, children in the low-income bracket (household incomes at or below 200% of federal poverty guidelines) lag behind an entire school year, on average, in reading – compared to peers of higher incomes (household incomes above 200% FPG).

Lower income kids are, on average, 11.2 months behind in math and 13 months behind in reading.

Another table in the report (also courtesy of the Center for National Progress and National Institute for Early Childhood Education) focuses on the estimated reduction in national achievement gap numbers that would result from the implementation of a high-quality universal preschool program (UPK).

With a UPK in place, the projected gap (months of learning) decreases considerably, across the board.

Most notably, the estimated reduction in months of learning for Hispanic readers would drop over 12 months, leaving them with no achievement gap at all (-0.67).

For the sub-group low income versus high income, the projected rate of progress – were there a universal preschool program in place – is solid (27% reduction in months of learning in math and 41% in reading), but comes nowhere close to the drop experienced by African American kids entering kindergarten, who, after a UPK would experience a 98% reduction in months of learning, for reading.

The term in the report is “Local Landscape,” which is an outline of the various resources (programs and agencies), available in Davis, for those in search of preschool opportunities.

They are, as listed: Family Day Care; Private Preschool; Child Development Programs; Head Start – Federally Funded; State Preschool – State Funded; Publicly Administered, Fee-Based Programs; and the Davis Parent Nursery School (DPNS).

In the section of the report entitled Poverty Level, percentages are given for those “Living below 100% of the federal poverty level” and “Living in the 100-200% of the FPL.”

The chart was courtesy of Yolo First Five, Yolo County Board of Education, and Harder & Associates, while the source of information came from the U.S. Census, American Community Survey, 5-Year Estimate, 2010-2104.

One of five locations included, Davis clocked in with 6% of its residents living below 100% of the FPL, and 16% living at 100-200% of the FPL.

Over one quarter (26%) of West Sacramento residents live below 100% of the FPL.

The numbers are not much better for Woodland, which, according to the chart, has 21% of its population living below 100% of the FPL.

Woodland and its numbers resemble those for Rural Yolo (22%) and the entire Yolo County (19%).

The next section of the report is on the number of preschool slots, with its source being the California Department of Social Services ad City of Davis Child Care Resource & Referral Program.

Of the locations listed, Davis is the most active, with a total of 1,743 slots: 1,535 Preschool Center Slots and 208 Family Child Care Home Slots for Preschool-Age Children.

According to numbers from what appeared in 2014, there were 1,231 children that attended a preschool in Davis, which accounts for filling 71% of the slots and rests 16% better than the Yolo County average of 55% of the slots filled.

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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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24 thoughts on “Board to Hear Presentation on Preschool Programs”

  1. South of Davis

    Nicholas von Wettberg wrote:

    > Davis school board will hear a district-led presentation on

    > ways to close the achievement/opportunity gap.

    Unless the schools want to work on ways to get high achieving students with lots of opportunity to get lower test scores (the most effective way of closing an “achievement gap”) the schools should stop using this term and just say they are working on ways to better teach low achieving students without as much opportunity for extra curricular learning” (unless they really are focusing on doing what they can to make sure there is not a “gap” between the test scores of kids with different IQs and family situations)…

    1. David Greenwald

      I think you miss the point of why it’s called an achievement gap when you state: “working on ways to better teach low achieving students.” The problem of the achievement gap isn’t about “low achieving students” – it’s about structural factors that lock in de facto discrimination against Black and Hispanics.

      1. South of Davis

        David wrote:

        > The problem of the achievement gap isn’t about “low

        > achieving students” – it’s about structural factors that

        > lock in de facto discrimination against Black and Hispanics.

        The problem of “low achievement” today has NOTHING to do with discrimination (today almost 50 years post separate and not really equal) and everything to do with a parents (of ALL races) desire to educate their children.

        wdf1 can correct me if I am wrong on this one but I think we agree that the teachers in Davis are not racist and don’t discriminate.  I think we also agree that kids who are raised by parents of all races who don’t think school is important don’t do as well (most of the time).

        I know a well educated black couple who both went to Harvard law school and their black daughter recently got accepted to Harvard.  About 20 years ago a well educated white couple who lived in the same house that both went to Yale law school sent their white daughter to Stanford.

        It is not like poor white kids who grow up in trailer parks where their parents sniff glue have some kind of “white privilege” that gets them in to top schools (just like more poor whites are shot by the cops every year more poor whites are on welfare).

        P.S. To David if it really is  about structural factors that lock in de facto discrimination against Black and Hispanics why not call out by name the people doing this in Davis (where black and hispanic students score lower than white and asian kids)…

      2. wdf1

        David Greenwald:  The problem of the achievement gap isn’t about “low achieving students” – it’s about structural factors that lock in de facto discrimination against Black and Hispanics.

        In Davis, the disparity in standardized test scores and other measures of ‘successful outcomes’  is greatest when compared against parent education level.  A faculty/staff person at UCD is likely to have college education.  Their kids will likely do better than if the parents didn’t have college education, regardless if they are African American or Latino.  Kids of college-college educated African Americans are likelier to complete college than kids of non-college-educated African Americans.  Same in Latino families.

        You can see greater instances of de facto discrimination in the school district if you go by parent education level than with any other standard demographic characteristic.

        1. South of Davis

          wdf1 wrote:

          > You can see greater instances of de facto

          > discrimination in the school district if you go

          > by parent education level than with any

          > other standard demographic characteristic.

          I would not call it “discrimination” but is amazing how most residents of Davis self-segregate by education level.

          Most events in Davis today are “ethnically” diverse, but if you are at a super bowl party hosted by a tenured professor the likelihood of meeting someone without a college degree is slim just as slim as meeting someone with a master’s degree at a party hosted by someone who didn’t go to college.

          P.S. This is not just a made up example When we first moved to Davis we went to a super bowl party of a blue collar neighbor and we were the only people who went to college in the room and last year we were at the West Davis home of a tenured UCD professor and (as is typically the case in Davis) I was the only person with “just” a bachelor’s degree in the room.

           

  2. quielo

    If they want to form some kind of program where will the money come from? BTW your comment “The problem of the achievement gap isn’t about “low achieving students””, should read “”it’s about low achieving parents and how can the government do a better job of raising their children”

      1. quielo

        Are we paying for preschool now? My understanding is that this would be an incremental expenditure. Despite the fact that AIM did not cost more and was well supported by parents they are killing it anyway.

        1. David Greenwald

          A small right now. We would probably need to raise that amount. There is the model from West Sac where a lot of the money came from grants from FIrst 5 and the model from the county where the money came from a sales tax increase.

        2. quielo

          ” We would probably need to raise that amount” And the raising of more money is the primary goal regardless of what they ostensibly want to spend it on. They took money from cities like Davis and gave it to LAUSD to close the “achievement gap”. What did LAUSD do with the money? They had a big party, divvied up the money among themselves as raises and increased benefits, and hired any of their especially useless friends as consultants. Additional services? Sorry no money left for any of that.

  3. quielo

    I went to the “Center for National Progress” and they seem to be a little confused. On one hand they are “an independent nonpartisan policy institute” but on the other the are dedicated to “progressive ideas” and their mission is to “Challenge conservative misinformation”.  Sounds like they hate AIM too and so are aligned with the DV. 

     

     

     

    Challenge conservative misinformation

    1. wdf1

      quielo:  …and their mission is to “Challenge conservative misinformation”.  Sounds like they hate AIM too and so are aligned with the DV. 

      I had no idea that AIM/GATE was part of a conservative political agenda.

      1. quielo

        Then should pay more attention. The “progressive” agenda is to model after the Mexican school system where employees have incomes that they can sell or leave to their children and nobody learns anything. More fair that way.

      2. wdf1

        quielo:  The “progressive” agenda is to model after the Mexican school system where employees have incomes that they can sell or leave to their children and nobody learns anything.

        That’s news to me.

    2. Barack Palin

      Yes Quielo, partisan cites like that which are often funded by George Soros are often treated on here like they’re factual but are usually just another biased left wing organization with an agenda.

  4. Frankly

    Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)

    Strategy 1 and LCAP Goal

    Strategy 3 and LCAP Goal 3

    Center for National Progress and National Institute for Early Childhood Education (CNPNIECE) national achievement gap data

    universal preschool program (UPK)

    Family Day Care; Private Preschool; Child Development Programs; Head Start – Federally Funded; State Preschool – State Funded; Publicly Administered, Fee-Based Programs; and the Davis Parent Nursery School (DPNS)

    Yolo First Five, Yolo County Board of Education, and Harder & Associates Preschool Center Slots and 208 Family Child Care Home Slots for Preschool-Age Children

    The education system is a screwed up mess of jargon and complexity that serves all the adult education “professionals” and those parental customers of the system that are educated enough and have enough free time to become experts in the screwed up mess of jargon and complexity… at the expense of everyone else.

    1. wdf1

      Frankly:  The education system is a screwed up mess of jargon and complexity that serves all the adult education “professionals” and those parental customers of the system that are educated enough and have enough free time to become experts in the screwed up mess of jargon and complexity… at the expense of everyone else.

      There are adults who feel that way about your profession — banking/lending/financing — and any profession for that matter.  The point is, in practice, to translate what that means to a non-professional or ‘lay-person.’  I think that is a weakness of this article, that it doesn’t decipher the jargon for people less familiar with the topic.

        1. wdf1

          Your link has a number of terms, lingo and jargon that are not so clearly defined or not defined at all.  It’s all well and good if you throw these terms around regularly in the course or your job.  If you’re getting your first (and maybe only) mortgage in your life, then these terms will not come across as clearly or be easily understood.  Even worse, fully understanding the consequences of one financial option over another.

          ARM

          APR

          LTV

          fixed-rate

          reverse mortgage

          HARP

          amortization

          HELOC

        2. Frankly

          When the financial services business starts working for the benefit of developing children I will concede your equivalency argument, but until then it does not hold up.

        3. hpierce

          You are absolutely right, Frankly…

          When the financial services business starts working for the benefit of developing children…

          When will they stop working against them?

      1. South of Davis

        WDF1 wrote:

        > There are adults who feel that way about your

        > profession — banking/lending/financing — and

        > any profession for that matter.

        Sadly most (but not all) professions become a “screwed up mess of jargon and complexity that serves all the adult “professionals” in the profession.  Education, Banking, Law, Politics, Medicine (even Plumbing) are screwed up with “mess of jargon and complexity that serves all the adult “professionals” in the profession”…

        1. hpierce

          Maybe ‘professions’, but not ‘professionals’… the latter write and speak to their audience.  If a technical audience, they use “short-hand”… if a ‘lay audience’, a true professional writes/speaks at the audience’s level…

          I know of which I speak…

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